Game Meat & the ‘Locavore’ Movement
Well-founded concerns about where our food comes from, and what was put on the land to raise it, have launched Vermont to the forefront of the local farm movement. These issues aren’t new. Vermonters have believed for generations that the best food for us, and for the land, comes from our own farms and fields.
Similarly, hunting and fishing are important traditions that help put local food on many Vermont tables. In many ways, hunters and anglers are some of the first ‘locavores’. Each year, the hunting seasons for Vermont’s four big game species provide over 3.5 million servings of quality, low-fat protein. Local food connects us to the land, to our history, and to our communities.
“As with local farming, hunting near home provides many of the same personal and landscape benefits,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. “It provides highly nutritious food and ensures a strong landscape that sustains us. Hunting also fosters accountability for how food is produced, and a clear, unvarnished insight into how the animals that become our meat live and die.”
Hunting and farming go hand-in-hand – workable land is an important part of conservation. But to others, the connection between food and the landscape is not as clear. Food can be a bridge that connects people from different experiences. By sharing our game meat, and with it, sharing the stories of the days spent in the woods, we can reinforce our reasons for hunting and connect non-hunters to their food and the outdoors in a new way.
“To ensure our tradition of getting food from a healthy wild landscape continues, we can learn from our farming neighbors by welcoming our new locavores into hunting,” said Porter. “By bringing them along, we can broaden our community and create new connections between people and the land.”
We want all Vermonters to identify with local food and the Vermont landscape and understand that local, sustainable, and delicious food is available in Vermont’s forests, fields, and ponds. Be sure to properly care for harvested to assure high quality game meat. And share your stories and photos of locally harvested meat with friends and family. Together, let’s push the local food narrative forward.